UPDATED: APRIL 13, 2018 3:06 PM — Principals in a small Brazilian hotel chain paid $7.5 million on Wednesday to enter the Orlando tourism corridor, buying a 190-key independent hotel along International Drive they plan to renovate and rebrand.
Located at 6825 Visitors Circle, the Continental Plaza Hotel was built in 1983 and occupies 2.26 acres directly north of Universal Orlando's former Wet 'n Wild water park site, where the theme park company is building two new hotels. It's a 1.1-mile walk to Universal CityWalk.
The buyer is an affiliate of Monreale Hotels, which owns and operates six hotels in southern Brazil under three independent brands.
This is the company's second investment in Orlando; it previously owned the Super 8 motel at 5900 American Way between December 2012 and November 2015, when it sold for a $4.325 million profit.
Monreale executives began this week a thorough renovation plan that will include replacing most of the property's FF&E, and within six months should be ready to rebrand with their Brazilian flag SonoHotel, local real estate broker and buyer's representative Kiran Patel told GrowthSpotter.
The company's SonoHotel flag is limited service, with its one urban Brazilian location offering free Wi-Fi, breakfast and cable TV as amenities.
Listing agent T.C. Chen of SVN had been marketing the property since February 2017 with an unlisted price, and highlighted in those materials that a national franchise flag was available to rebrand the property.
This is the third new hospitality investment announced in the past three months for the small Visitors Circle loop, which lies just off the I-Drive and Universal Boulevard intersection.
In February, a pair of local construction supply entrepreneurs filed plans to build their first hotel with a new Best Western flag, and in March a hospitality finance veteran filed plans to convert part of a shuttered retail building into the first youth hostel on I-Drive.